Lack infrastructure hampering Indo-Bangla border trade

Infrastructure roadblock has hit the India and Bangladesh’s plan to keep bilateral trade going for seven days a week at Petrapole-Benapole land custom stations.  

Located nearly 80 km from Kolkata, Petrapole (India)-Benapole (Bangladesh) border accounts for nearly half of the $5.5-billion bilateral trade. Both the countries planned to extend operations from 6 days to seven days beginning January 1.

bd-indiaAt a meeting attended by Union Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose and his Bangladeshi counterpart Golam Hosen at Petrapole on Friday, traders from both sides of the border blamed lack of infrastructure as a major cause of concern to operate seven days.

“Though top revenue officials from both the countries agreed to keep operations on for the whole week in October last year, trucks still don’t move on the Bangladeshi side on Fridays,” a Bangaon-based exporter who attended the meeting told Business Line.

According to him, infrastructure hurdles and political issues have to be dealt with first to practically implement seven-day operation at the Petrapole-Benapole land custom stations.

Another trader who operates though Petrapole-Benapole route said lack of infrastructure often resulted in 8-10 km long queues of truck on both the sides.

 Source: The Hindu